Background: Aurora A kinase, a centrosomal serine/threonine kinase which plays an essential role in chromosome segregation during cell division, is commonly amplified and/or over expressed in human malignancies. Aurora A is suggested to be one of the proliferation parameters which is an independent prognostic factor for early invasive breast cancer patients; however the individual clinical or prognostic relevance of this gene has been a matter of debate. Methods: A comprehensive analysis of Aurora A at the levels of gene expression, gene copy number and protein expression was performed for 278 primary invasive breast cancer patients; and the correlation with clinical outcomes were investigated. Results: Aurora A gene expression level not only correlated with gene amplification, but was also significantly associated with several clinicopathological parameters and patient prognosis. Patients with higher nuclear grade, negative progesterone receptor status and higher Ki67 expressed higher levels of Aurora A mRNA, which was associated not only with poor relapse-free survival (RFS) but was also found to be a significant multivariate parameter for RFS. Aurora A protein expression was also significantly associated with clinicopathological characteristics; lymph node status, nuclear grade, estrogen receptor status and Ki67, but not with prognosis. By contrast, Aurora A gene amplification correlated with tumor size, nuclear grade and Ki67, and had no prognostic value. Conclusion: Our data indicate that Aurora A gene expression is an effective tool, which defines both tumor proliferation potency and patient prognosis.